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Badger

oil in bilge - drain hose leak?

I pulled the boat on Saturday and went to drain the oil in the driveway. When I opened the engine cover, I realized I have a layer of oil coating the bottom of the bilge area. I pulled the dipstick and see that I'm just below the "low" level on the stick. I went ahead and drained the oil and started my investigation of where the leak was coming from.

The engine appears to be clean, except for the oil pan fitting leading to the drain tube. Has anyone had an issue with the tube leaking at the fitting, or possibly the fitting itself leaking or being cracked?

It also felt like I have rust on the pan, surrounding the fitting by a 1/2". This seems to me to be a bigger cause for concern. I find it hard to believe that my pan rusted all the way through on a 2004 model, but it can't be good.

I haven't tried to disassemble yet, because I wanted to try and find a picture of what I was going to be dealing with under there. I found this on Skidim, but the fitting didn't feel this tall to me. Obviously I can't readily see it. Are the fittings/tubes an Indmar installed item, or are they installed as an option at the Malibu plant?

http://www.skidim.com/prodinfo.asp?number=RK024056A

I'm thinking about trying to find a regular drain plug, fill the oil, and then run in the driveway again for a while to see if it's leaking somewhere else. Obvioulsy, I hoping not to have to pull the engine to change the oil pan. But if I do, I want to know now, to have it done over the winter.

Any other suggested action plans for this?

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I haven't experienced any leaking yet, but after a few years I would imagine that the teflon sealant or seal used between the faces might go bad. The skidim drain tube looks like the exact one used by Malibu and I wouldn't be surprised if it was. I bet if you drain it and pull the tube you could clean and re-apply teflon tape/sealant and it would be good to go. Granted it may not be indexed/pointing in the original direction, but thats a small inconvenice when compared to the cost of pulling the pan. Don't see how the oil pan could rust through regardless of the conditions in the bilge or the age of the pan. I borrowed :whistle: one of my wifes hand mirrors for just such situations and it has been a great help finding issues. IME, if you have any up and down movement in the elbow in the tube where it screws into the pan it most likely won't be fixable and you will have to replace it. What ever you do discount the obvious easy/cheap route first. Good luck.

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Keep this thread up to date please

I have a bit of oil in the bildge as well and haven't found the culprit yet, I will be checking the fitting in question either this week or next week.

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I pulled the boat on Saturday and went to drain the oil in the driveway. When I opened the engine cover, I realized I have a layer of oil coating the bottom of the bilge area. I pulled the dipstick and see that I'm just below the "low" level on the stick. I went ahead and drained the oil and started my investigation of where the leak was coming from.

The engine appears to be clean, except for the oil pan fitting leading to the drain tube. Has anyone had an issue with the tube leaking at the fitting, or possibly the fitting itself leaking or being cracked?

It also felt like I have rust on the pan, surrounding the fitting by a 1/2". This seems to me to be a bigger cause for concern. I find it hard to believe that my pan rusted all the way through on a 2004 model, but it can't be good.

I haven't tried to disassemble yet, because I wanted to try and find a picture of what I was going to be dealing with under there. I found this on Skidim, but the fitting didn't feel this tall to me. Obviously I can't readily see it. Are the fittings/tubes an Indmar installed item, or are they installed as an option at the Malibu plant?

http://www.skidim.co...umber=RK024056A

I'm thinking about trying to find a regular drain plug, fill the oil, and then run in the driveway again for a while to see if it's leaking somewhere else. Obvioulsy, I hoping not to have to pull the engine to change the oil pan. But if I do, I want to know now, to have it done over the winter.

Any other suggested action plans for this?

Went through this last year with 2001 SunKicker/Sunsetter I bought used that spring. I was getting a slow oil leak in the bilge and couldn't figure out where it was coming from. No visable leaks present. Took it to a shop who told me it was the oil drain tube that was leaking at the bottom of the oil pan. Instead of replacing the tube they removed it completely and installed a standard plug in the bottom of the oil pan. Went to pick the boat up from the shop and saw that there was still oil in the bilge.

Long story short, the oil drain tube was fine...the oil pan had actually rusted through right beside the plug and was slowly leaking into the bilge. We ended up pulling the engine out and could stick the end of a paperclip straight through the bottom of the oil pan. Shop said it must have been some kind of defect in the metal combined with years of the previous owner running the boat without a working bilge pump (very wet bilge). I hope this isn't your issue but wanted to reply with my experience just in case. I would take a good look at the bottom of the pan with a mirror.

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You can see the vintage boat I have and the drain tube and fittings are not leaking so the rust might be the culprit. Use a mirror and light to get a better view of the bottom of the pan. It sounds like this is an accumulation over a long period of time based on your post, so there are many places that could contribute as a very small amount of oil over time will leave the residue you are describing. It may be as simple as the breather "mist" accumulating then slowly migrating to the bottom of the bilge, loose or leaking oil filter or fitting. Take a clean paper towel and carefully wipe along any edges, nooks, brackets to see if oil is accumulating at any point. Stop when you hit some oil and determine where (from above that point) it is coming from. It can be tricky to find a leak, particularly if it is small.

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I didn't have much time last night, but I cleaned up the bottom of the pan and took some poor quality pictures. From an internet search I found a photo of a new oil pan that shows the drain hole as a welded insert with the threaded hole pre-formed and tapped.

It appears this insert is rusting, as there is a rectangle of rust around the fitting. For now, I put some paper towel directly underneath the fitting and put a quart of oil into the engine. I doubt this is going to show anything, if it is a slow leak.

The drain tube is not going to be easy to remove, and probably harder to get back on, so I'd like to make sure this is where it's leaking before I touch it. This weekend I think I may fill the oil, de-winterize, and run the boat in the driveway to see if I can tell for sure if this is what is leaking.

Any other suggestions? I'll also try to get some better pictures this weekend. I realized afterwards that I probably had better access from the other side of the engine compartment.

post-2570-010188800 1320400845_thumb.jpg

post-2570-009810700 1320400867_thumb.jpg

Edited by Badger

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I spent most of Saturday cleaning everything up so I could tell where the oil was leaking. It turns out it was coming from the oil pressure switch I had replaced this spring. I added some plumber putty and hopefully the issue will be solved. It was dripping about one drip every 30 seconds. Turns out that's a lot of oil in the bilge.

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I spent most of Saturday cleaning everything up so I could tell where the oil was leaking. It turns out it was coming from the oil pressure switch I had replaced this spring. I added some plumber putty and hopefully the issue will be solved. It was dripping about one drip every 30 seconds. Turns out that's a lot of oil in the bilge.

Quite honestly the only way to fix that is to replace the sending unit again. Plumbers putty ain't gonna do it sorry to say.

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I don't think I was descriptive enough. Oil was coming from threads where it screws into the little "t" block, or would you call that a manifold?

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I don't think I was descriptive enough. Oil was coming from threads where it screws into the little "t" block, or would you call that a manifold? It wasn't coming from the unit itself.

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You could always throw in some engine oil dye. Run the engine for a while and let it sit and then hit it with a black light.

That is a sure fire - one time method that will show you where the oil is leaking

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I don't think I was descriptive enough. Oil was coming from threads where it screws into the little "t" block, or would you call that a manifold?

Oh, gottcha....I would recommend liquid teflon for that.

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Oh, gottcha....I would recommend liquid teflon for that.

I gotta start watching mine next season now, lol. I un did mine at the end of last season becuase the guage was acting funny.

I put it back together with no thread stuff, or putty stuff. There obviously was something on there, it seemed kinda like graphite.

Wondering if mine might leak now.

Steve B.

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Oh, gottcha....I would recommend liquid teflon for that.

Glad you found it and it was an easy one. Sure beats a hole in the pan!

I'm with Ruff - teflon is the way to fly. I use teflon tape on everything with threads that need sealed. Thumbup.gif

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I'm not an engine guy and wasn't sure that teflon tape would hold up to oil. If you say it does, that's what I would have used too. I've never heard of "liquid teflon" but will have to look for that too. Thanks guys.

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Go to your auto parts store and get a small tube of Permatex #2 Form A Gasket Sealant. This is semi-liquid paste that is meant to be used for fuel and oil fittings in vehicles. It will cost you about 5 dollars.

Teflon tape will work although it is not the right product for the task. Also, you don't want any shred of that teflon tape getting into you oil. Although small and probably unharming - I dont like things floating in my oil.

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Went through this last year with 2001 SunKicker/Sunsetter I bought used that spring. I was getting a slow oil leak in the bilge and couldn't figure out where it was coming from. No visable leaks present. Took it to a shop who told me it was the oil drain tube that was leaking at the bottom of the oil pan. Instead of replacing the tube they removed it completely and installed a standard plug in the bottom of the oil pan. Went to pick the boat up from the shop and saw that there was still oil in the bilge.

Long story short, the oil drain tube was fine...the oil pan had actually rusted through right beside the plug and was slowly leaking into the bilge. We ended up pulling the engine out and could stick the end of a paperclip straight through the bottom of the oil pan. Shop said it must have been some kind of defect in the metal combined with years of the previous owner running the boat without a working bilge pump (very wet bilge). I hope this isn't your issue but wanted to reply with my experience just in case. I would take a good look at the bottom of the pan with a mirror.

Funny thing, I had that exact problem with my 03' VLX last year. Rusted a small hole right around the plug fitting. I did have a working bilge pump and only use less than 50 hours a season and don't have my boat sitting in the water. Yeah, major $$ to fix.

--Robert

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I'm not an engine guy and wasn't sure that teflon tape would hold up to oil. If you say it does, that's what I would have used too. I've never heard of "liquid teflon" but will have to look for that too. Thanks guys.

Here ya go Badger. This is available at the auto parts stores. I prefer this over tape as sometimes the tape can simply make installation to tight. Also I know this stuff is intended for automotive applications and is resistant to oil etc. Good luck and hey..... glad your not pulling the oil pan!!

Edited by Ruffdog

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Bumping an old thread here. Got this same diagnosis (rusted oil pan near drain) on my 99 VLX. Is this common? Any other fix beside pulling the engine and replacing the pan/gasket/drain (quoted at about a $1k repair)?

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